Does Assurance Belong to the Essence of Faith? Calvin and the Calvinists

Joel R. Beeke | August 25, 2009

The contemporary church stands in great need of refocusing on the doctrine of assurance if the desirable fruit of Christian living is to abound. A relevant issue in church history centers in whether or not the Calvinists differed from Calvin himself regarding the relationship between faith and assurance. The difference between the two was quantitative and methodological, not qualitative or substantial. Calvin himself distinguished between the definition of faith and the reality of faith in the believer’s experience. Alexander Comrie, a representative of the Dutch Second Reformation, held essentially the same position as Calvin in mediating between the view that assurance is the fruit of faith and the view that assurance is inseparable from faith. He and some other Calvinists differ from Calvin in holding to a two-tier approach to the consciousness of assurance. So Calvin and the Calvinists furnish the church with a model to follow that is greatly needed today.

Vol. 5, no. 1 (Spring 1994)

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Beeke, Joel R.. "Does Assurance Belong to the Essence of Faith? Calvin and the Calvinists." The Master's Seminary Journal 5, no. 1 (Spring 1994): 43-72.